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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 869; doi:10.3390/rs8100869

Relasphone—Mobile and Participative In Situ Forest Biomass Measurements Supporting Satellite Image Mapping

1
Remote sensing team, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., PL 1000, FI-02044 Espoo, Finland
2
Instituto de Silvicultura e Industria de la Madera, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Bld. del Guadiana 501, Ciudad Universitaria, Torre de Investigación, 34120 Durango, Mexico
3
Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
Current affiliation: CGI Group Inc. (Consultants to Government and Industries), P.O. Box 38, FI-00381 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Steffen Fritz, Cidália Costa Fonte, Lars T. Waser, Randolph H. Wynne and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 28 September 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Earth Observation)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [30369 KB, uploaded 21 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

Due to the high cost of traditional forest plot measurements, the availability of up-to-date in situ forest inventory data has been a bottleneck for remote sensing image analysis in support of the important global forest biomass mapping. Capitalizing on the proliferation of smartphones, citizen science is a promising approach to increase spatial and temporal coverages of in situ forest observations in a cost-effective way. Digital cameras can be used as a relascope device to measure basal area, a forest density variable that is closely related to biomass. In this paper, we present the Relasphone mobile application with extensive accuracy assessment in two mixed forest sites from different biomes. Basal area measurements in Finland (boreal zone) were in good agreement with reference forest inventory plot data on pine ( R 2 = 0 . 75 , R M S E = 5 . 33 m 2 /ha), spruce ( R 2 = 0 . 75 , R M S E = 6 . 73 m 2 /ha) and birch ( R 2 = 0 . 71 , R M S E = 4 . 98 m 2 /ha), with total relative R M S E ( % ) = 29 . 66 % . In Durango, Mexico (temperate zone), Relasphone stem volume measurements were best for pine ( R 2 = 0 . 88 , R M S E = 32 . 46 m 3 /ha) and total stem volume ( R 2 = 0 . 87 , R M S E = 35 . 21 m 3 /ha). Relasphone data were then successfully utilized as the only reference data in combination with optical satellite images to produce biomass maps. The Relasphone concept has been validated for future use by citizens in other locations. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; participatory sensing; digital relascope; basal area; optical satellite images; aboveground forest biomass; growing stock volume; digital camera; smartphone app citizen science; participatory sensing; digital relascope; basal area; optical satellite images; aboveground forest biomass; growing stock volume; digital camera; smartphone app
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Molinier, M.; López-Sánchez, C.A.; Toivanen, T.; Korpela, I.; Corral-Rivas, J.J.; Tergujeff, R.; Häme, T. Relasphone—Mobile and Participative In Situ Forest Biomass Measurements Supporting Satellite Image Mapping. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 869.

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